By Kate Harris
When unforeseen occurrences happen, like COVID-19, managing stress can feel like a full-time job. One of our primary goals is to help keep your wedding planning as stress-free as possible with these helpful tips.
Even for the most chill of couples, wedding planning comes with little bits of stress here and there. The last thing you need to add to that is a worldwide pandemic!
- Reach out to your vendors if you haven’t already heard from them. Ask how things are going, what their planning process looks like and see if they have any suggestions.
- Reach out to your guests. You can set up an e-invitation where they can check in to learn any updates, and they can communicate with you (you’ll find the majority offering loads of support!)
Your engagement is a fun and exciting time. Keep the energy alive and boost spirits during a time when we all need a bit more positivity around us! Share with family and friends – they’re looking for happier things to focus on as well.
- Plan B. Even if it weren’t for the Coronavirus, you’d still be contemplating things like, “What happens if it rains?” No real need to make any decisions until closer to your date (say a month out) but start thinking about what things look like should you decide on an alternative date.
- Wedding Favors. Move forward with ordering them, but consider leaving your date out. This way they will work no matter what. Also, look into local small businesses for sourcing as they could definitely use the work.
- Start a Pinterest board (yes, even for the guys) which those closest to you can add to and join in the creativity and excitement.
- Practice your First Dance! Even if you weren’t planning something choreographed, now’s a great opportunity to try out some of your favorite songs and practice your moves. Check out YouTube tutorials for help, or connect with a local dance studio to see if they will offer virtual lessons.
This may be one of the toughest decisions you can imagine making, and the weight of it can feel intense. Using your Plan B and setting a date to make your decision by can allow you to get out of limbo and move forward. You’ll likely find, that once you’ve made the decision, your stress begins to ease.
- Communicate with ALL your vendors! We can’t stress this enough. We’re all in this together! Get three or four date options from your venue first.
- Start a Doodle scheduler with the alternate dates to send to all other vendors. This is an easy way to see which date(s) will allow you to keep as many vendors as possible. You can do this with key guests as well.
- Consider non-Saturday dates to maximize availability. Many vendors will already be booked for Saturdays. Some vendors are putting restrictions in place, so ask questions. A non-Saturday date or off-peak date is the most advantageous for vendors and maximizes the likelihood that you will be able to keep your original team without losing any deposits.
- Get non-traditional! Maybe keep your original date as an elopement and postpone the reception.
- Consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the transition and relieve some stress.
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
While event insurance can only cover so much (and most we know of don’t include worldwide pandemics) it’s still something we highly recommend. What happens if one of your vendors closes up shop before your date? You can recoup with an insurance policy.
- Homeowner’s insurance policies can cover your wedding, but typically only the day of the event with liability coverage. Some offer add-ons. Ask questions, and determine what your options are.
- Companies like Wed Safe and Event Helper offer more comprehensive plans which can cover unforeseen events such as the venue closing. This will save you from losing money you’ve invested. But again, ask lots of questions to understand the coverage.
Sure, this sounds like an inappropriate time. Which is exactly why it’s necessary. Your wedding might seem minor in comparison to all that’s going on in the world, but it’s not less important. You’ve chosen to celebrate and share your love. We could all use that energy now more than ever.
- Plan a date night. Spend quality time together, remembering that you’re in this as a team, and your love is what will remain long after the pandemic ends.
- Continue to share your excitement. Many are struggling to find connection and happiness. Your wedding may be the light at the end of the tunnel and sharing this can be a great pick-me-up.
- Drink wine. Eat chocolate. Take a bubble bath. Whatever your self-care regime, make it a priority. It’s an emotional time. Nurture yourselves to stay strong.
- Get perspective. You might find the need to stress over napkin colors and placement feels insignificant now. Focus instead on your loved ones’ health, safety and happiness and remember why you are having a wedding in the first place.
We’ve been truly appreciative of being asked, “What can we do for you?” So we thought we could add a few tips on how to help your vendors out during this time.
- Write reviews! Your wedding hasn’t happened, but you’ve still had lots of interaction with your vendors and service counts for a lot. Review them on Google, Facebook, The Knot or Wedding Wire to show your appreciation and boost their ratings.
- Share your praises with others! Tag us, share our names with friends getting married (or who you think should get married), and encourage others to hire the vendors you love.
- Most vendors will transfer to your new day with no penalties, but consider (if possible) keeping the original payment plan in place to help their income during this time.
- Communicate! We’ll say it again because it’s so important. Despite what anyone’s contract says, we believe compassion and honesty can help us all find the best way to move forward. We all want the same thing!
We’re here for you! Send us an email with any questions. We are lucky to know some amazing people in the industry and are happy to make connections. In the meantime, BREATHE! We can do this!
Kate & Keith are wedding and event photographers creating a work/life balance around sustainability and the outdoors. Both vegan, they are committed towards zero-waste initiatives and founded a non-profit (Sustainable Seacoast) in their home area to aid restaurants and events in eliminating single use plastics. Their passports show Southern Maine as home but are often found at family bases in New Jersey, Oahu, and Mount Desert Island, Maine. Loving to travel, they drive their Lobster Van (Promaster conversion) across the country for weddings, stashing their tiny Lagotto Romagnolo (dog) between camera bags and a Nutribullet, and using Happy Cow to explore vegan eateries along the way. They can easily be bribed with coconut milk cappuccinos. Read Kate and Keith’s articles